Amupanda threatens ‘corrupt’ City officials

Those who steal from the municipality and resign to avoid consequences will have to pay with their pension, the Affirmative Repositioning leader warned.

20 July 2021 | Local News

MATHIAS HAUFIKU







WINDHOEK

City of Windhoek mayor Job Amupanda has threatened to wield the axe on corrupt municipality workers, who he says are costing the city millions.

In an internal note seen by Namibian Sun sent to staff members last week, Amupanda said corruption cases involving City employees have been on the increase.

While some of the incidents occurred prior to December 2020, before the current council assumed office, he said “it has been noticed that there has been a continuation of corrupt practices throughout the organisation to varying degrees of severity”.

He did not provide any figures or statistics substantiating the losses through corruption.

“This memo serves as a stern message to staff at all levels that council will not tolerate any corrupt activities during our term. Swift and decisive action against anyone involved in corrupt activities will be implemented,” he warned.

Anti-corruption strategies

According to Amupanda, officials accused of corruption have developed a tendency of resigning before they can be charged.

“It goes without saying that any amount we lose at the hands of corrupt officials will be recovered from the pensions of the corrupt. Therefore, resigning does not exempt anyone from the consequences of their corrupt practices.”

He said the municipality has started with anti-corruption strategies such as registering criminal cases with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the police.

“We will also explore the possibility of attaching assets acquired via corrupt methods,” he said.

Haunted by corruption

Corruption claims have haunted the municipality in recent years, with many relating to dubious land allocation deals through which politicians used their positions on the City council to acquire vast tracts of land.

In 2019, City CEO Robert Kahimise accused officials at the municipality of having benefitted from underhand land deals and bribery.

In the same year, President Hage Geingob intervened in matters at the City when he directed that Kahimise and Windhoek City Police chief, Abraham Kanime, be reinstated following their suspensions on unrelated charges of corruption.

Kahimise was suspended in 2018 over his alleged unauthorised use of City funds to pay for his studies, while Kanime was suspended in 2017 over his unauthorised use of City funds to pay for personal legal costs.

Last year, the City suspended its information and communication technology strategic executive following bribery allegations.

Reckliff Kandjiriomuini, who died in May of Covid-19, was suspended following allegations that he offered a N$5 million bribe to a city councillor to support a 5G project.

Then Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) City of Windhoek councillor Brunhilde Cornelius claimed in a report by Al Jazeera at the time that she was offered money by a fellow RDP member Nicanor Ndjoze to drop objections against the tentative 5G deal in which the City wanted to install an internet network, in the process implicating Kandjiriomuini.

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